A hospital worker has been fired after admitting to have deliberately damaged hundreds of doses of a Covid vaccine by leaving them out of the fridge.
Arora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin admitted to deliberately sabotaging some 500 doses of Moderna vaccine after leaving the shots out at room temperature thereby rendering unfit to administer.
Hospital administrators said they originally believed the incident had been the result of an honest mistake, but investigation later revealed the worker did it on purpose.
The FBI, US Food and Drug Administration and local police are now all investigating the destruction. No motive for the destruction has been shared, with the hospital saying it would release more information as available.
‘We continue to believe that vaccination is our way out of the pandemic. We are more than disappointed that this individual’s action will result in a delay of more than 500 people receiving their vaccine.’
The health provider added that the damage “was a violation of our core values, and the individual is no longer employed by us”.
Modern vaccine, which is 95% effective at preventing serious Covid infections, can be stored in a regular freezer for six months, and kept at fridge-temperature for 30 days, but it cannot be re-frozen once thawed, and must be used within 12 hours of being brought to room temperature.
The US government has bought 200million doses of Moderna vaccine. Frontline healthcare workers and elderly people in care homes are at the front of the line for the vaccine. It comprises two shots given three or four weeks apart, with the injection expected to become widely available next spring. The US has now recorded more than 19.74million Covid cases, and 342,400 deaths.